How Skinny is too Skinny?

There has been a great deal of media buzz lately about Biggest Loser contestant Rachel Fredrickson’s dramatic weight loss. Rachel went from 260 pounds to 105 pounds. Other contestants on TBL called Rachel’s big reveal or body transformation with words such as “shocking” “disturbing” “anorexic” and “gaunt.” Some viewers communicated via Twitter that, “Rachel was setting a bad example of what a healthy, realistic weight loss transformation should represent.”  I must confess I have never watched the popular reality show, so I am not sure if this is the usual outcome of contestants and their weight loss journey. I know contestants are coached by fitness professional Jillian Michaels, while their caloric intake and food choices must be designed and monitored by dietitians, so the process must be a safe and healthy one for the individuals.

There are very few individuals I know who have had a dramatic weight loss, one being a biology teacher I had in high school. Mrs.W. as I will refer to her as, was a big woman. She was not just over weight, but was big-boned, with large hands and feet. She was just an all around large woman, that some would describe as an Amazon. She was as tall as she was large; close to 5″9. When Mrs.W. walked down the halls, she would not go unnoticed, her head high above the droves of chattering high school students.  After summer vacation, school resumed in September. Our science lab remained the same, same petri dishes, same beakers and test tubes, same posters of the periodical table, same sterile desks and uncomfortable chairs, but something, or someone was clearly different. Mrs. W. She had a drastic transformation over the summer and lost a lot of weight. Her students complimented her on how great she looked. I must agree, she looked happier and moved around with more vibrancy, but I wouldn’t say she looked great. Something looked off. Looking back in retrospect, I think it was that her new skinny and lanky body, did not match her still large frame. Her once plumb, rosy face looked gaunt and sunken to me. She looked older in her face now. I did admire Mrs. W. for all the hard work and determination it must have taken to achieve such drastic results and so quickly. She even made a whole science lesson about her weight loss, regarding caloric intake, fatty tissue and digestion. It was fantastic how she made her experience into a lesson.

Where am I going with this? Well, to me Rachel Fredrickson looks fine. Her size suits her petite frame. I think she was carrying too much weight for such a small frame. Seeing her now, she looks like a marathoner in my opinion, very lean with slim, muscular legs.  I do think that she should halt weight loss at this point and stay exactly as she is. The problem with chronicling a journey in front of millions of people,  is that you can never please everyone. There will always be critics. Viewers will always have something to say. If she lost one hundred pounds, she would most likely have been lambasted for not losing enough weight. So I say, you go, girl! If you are feeling good about the results, and you did it in a healthy and safe manner, then you enjoy your new body. You can’t please all the people all the time.  As Brittney Spears sings in her hit Do you Wanna Piece of Me,  “I’m Mrs. Extra, Extra! This just in. I’m Mrs. she’s too big now she’s too thin.”

Do you feel Rachel’s weight loss was too drastic? Inspirational or disturbing?


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4 thoughts on “How Skinny is too Skinny?

  1. Personally for me, she is too skinny, but I think marathoners are generally too skinny too. But honestly, if she is happy and eating well and not starving herself, I’m fine with whatever her ideal is and didn’t really want to comment on the situation because we all have different beauty ideals.

    HOWEVER, I do think this raises an issue with the show that almost creates a new obsession with food, even if it is disguised as being “heatlhy.” Weight loss and becoming healthy should be a slow steady process.

    Quick, drastic weight loss can also be difficult to maintain and it CAN cause us to go to far, whether or not you think she did. I wish her all the best of luck but I do think it gives us something to think about with drastic weight loss plans and how obsessive they can make us.

    1. Thanks for commenting. I find marathoners are very lanky too, but that goes with their sport, hence the reason I had to cut back on my running. The whole process of TBL seems too quick. I only hope that it is healthy and the contestants are eating healthy meals and enough calories. I hope she maintains too, but I think her frame supports her current size.

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